Archive for the ‘Robots’ Category

Paralyzed Woman Just Drank a Bottle of Coffee With Her Mind

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Dragging yourself to your morning coffee just got a whole lot easier. So did our baby steps toward becoming cyborgs.

Two quadriplegic volunteers, a 66 year-old man and a 58 year-old woman, have been part of a study being conducted at Brown University that transmits neural activity into physical movement via a robotic arm.

Cathy Hutchinson, the female volunteer, has been working with the implanted sensor for almost five years now to achieve this seemingly simple task.

Watch the video not just for the load of information it provides but for the kinda heart-warming moment when she actually drinks the coffee without assistance for the first time in fifteen years and both her and the up-until-then stone-faced science guy in the background triumphantly smile at their success…which is EXACTLY how our future robot overlords want us to feel.

Let’s just hope that the male volunteer’s name isn’t Otto Gunther Octavius…because that’s when all this feel-good/man-machine love story will just get ugly.


Video: 1 Armed Robot Juggles 2 Balls

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

The revolution is here. The machines have risen. And they can juggle.

Chiba University presented the following this week at 2012 IEE International Conference on Robotics and Automatiion.

The robot is equipped with a three-fingered hand, each with 2 or 3 degrees of motion, and an arm with 7 degrees of motion. These pieces are coupled with a high-speed vision system (500 frames per second) that allows a controller to plan for catches and throws, the IEEE Automation Blog explains.

Next they’ll spin plates…


And Now… A Robot Peels A Grape

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Surgery robot Da Vinci shows off exactly how precise it is by peeling a grape. Like a show off.

[Da Vinci Surgery]

How Do Humans Respond To Being Touched By A Robot?

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Spoiler Alert: Yeah they don’t really seem to like it that much. They like it even less when the robot warns them it is about to touch them ahead of time.


Tattoo Roulette

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Landing squarely in the corner of questionable ideas, please introduce yourself to the robotic tattoo machine Auto Ink. Not only is it a robot that gives you a tattoo, but it randomly picks what it will draw as well. Strap in and start it up and it will randomly chooses a religion and its corresponding symbol to brand you with.

Auto Ink is a three axis numerically controlled sculpture. Once the main switch is triggered, the operator is assigned a religion and its corresponding symbol is tattooed onto the person’s arm. The operator does not have control over the assigned symbol. It is assigned either randomly or through divine intervention, depending on your personal beliefs.

[Make via Geekologie]

Robots Continue To Steal Jobs

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

While robots continue to take jobs from hard working humans, they still show a surprising lack of judgement in choosing which jobs to steal.  Sign Dancer Pro is an outfit specializing in mechanical advertising, replacing those colorful human billboards on the side of the road.  I, for one, am going to miss the dancing Mario Brother on the corner.

[Singularity Hub]

The Science Behind Software That IDs Dudes Who Flash Dongs On Chatroulette

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

You know, if we have a machine that can destroy legendary trivia heads at Jeopardy it’s high time we had a piece of software that could spot some creep trying to pull out their 4 Wood on sites like Chatroulette. But how?

A new research paper out of Cornell explains the symphony of algorithms behind identifying some random Johnson while adjusting for varying light, skin tone and image composition. For example, in a video demonstrating the program a picture of a couple lying together topless on a screen without exposing any naughty bits did not trigger as low of a rating a weirdo lifting their shirt to grip their tallywhacker for the cam. It also recognized low light and static images.

Pretty amazing stuff and a clever solution to a har… err… difficult problem.

[SafeVchat: Detecting Obscene Content and Misbehaving Users in Online Video Chat Services]

via [Improbable Research]

The GhostBot Robot Fish

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Northwestern University scientists have have created a robotic fish (GhostBot) that mimics the swimming motions of the black ghost knifefish found in the Amazon. Ghostbot can move from swimming forward and backward to swimming vertically almost instantaneously by using a sophisticated, ribbon-like fin.


Fully-Automized Robot Debones Ham

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Sure, let’s invent a robot that utilizes the sophisticated technology necessary to artfully carve up a soft meat like a ham. Great idea.

When the streets are littered with the cleanly picked skeletons of the resistance, let me know how much you enjoyed your dinner.


Israeli Snakebot Will Segment To Survive

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

The newest generation of the Israeli snakebot is built from self-contained segments that can act independently of each other. If you cut this guy in two, then you will just have to deal with two Israeli snakebots. Its like smashing a spider and having its babies explode all over the floor.

Instead of being built like a normal snake with a head at one end and a tail at the other, each segment of this snakebot is totally self-contained with a brain, sensors, motors, and batteries. While the segments are designed to work together to form a long, stealthy snake that can do things like stand up and climb trees, each segment is capable of operating by itself if the snake gets damaged.

The segments can also be configured with alternate payloads, which are separated from the rest of the snake to perform their own missions. So, if the snakebot needs to plant a listening device, it can just disconnect a little piece of itself and leave it behind to eavesdrop. It can also detach segments packed with explosives if it’s feeling ornery.

Check out a video of the first generation snakebot:

[Dvice via Geekologie]

Cyborg Moths Used to Track Smells

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Japanese scientists have created a cyborg moth that can track odors by plugging a robot into the moth’s nervous system. The robot’s actions were controlled by electrodes plugged into the moth and the brain signals were rerouted to the motors of the robot. When the moth was exposed to the smell of a female, the robot replicated the moth dance in an attempt to track down the odor. Scientists believe that they can use this system in tracking down explosives.

[New Scientist]

Japanese Robot Taking Acting Jobs

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

Hiroshi Ishiguro’s robot Geminoid-F made its stage debut recently but stayed within character by playing the part of an android caretaker assigned to a dying child. How soon till Geminoid-F feels up to taking on a fully human role?

[BBC via engadget]

Robots Think We Taste Like Bacon

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Researchers have created an electromechanical sommelier for identifying wines, cheeses, and meats. However during one exhibition the terrible, terrible future was revealed in the childlike voice of the robot.

“But when some smart aleck reporter placed his hand in the robot’s omnivorous clanking jaw, he was identified as bacon. A cameraman then tried and was identified as prosciutto.”

Prepare yourself for the robot apocalypse.


Robotic Jetpacks? They’re Real

Monday, October 18th, 2010

According to Martin Aircraft, they’ve developed a fully robotic jetpack that can be used to drop supplies to troops or bombs on enemies. It uses regular fuel and can take off from the back of a flat-bed truck.

[Fox News]

Google Creates Car That Drives Itself, Revolution Is Here

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Smarter Than You Think - Google Cars Drive Themselves, in Traffic -

In a blog post today, Google owned up to running self-driving cars through all manner of conditions: highway, city, long-distance and on challenging terrain like the steep streets of San Francisco. The experiments were conducted wither no or very limited human interaction and the biggest accident came when a vehicle was rear ended while fully stopped.

The man who made it happen, Sebastian Thrun, director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, is understandably bubbly about the breakthrough when quoted by the New York Times:

“Can we text twice as much while driving, without the guilt?” Dr. Thrun said in a recent talk. “Yes, we can, if only cars will drive themselves.”

Obviously, this is about as blinding awesome as weird can get. That is, until the robots rebel against us, lock the doors and drive us all off a cliff.

[Google Blog]

[New York Times]

New Artificial Skin Could Allow Robots To Feel

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Researchers at Stanford University have developed a flexible semiconductor which may yield new breakthroughs in robotics and artificial limbs. These semiconductors are covered in rubber and infused with air pockets that push back against pressure, allowing it to detect the presence of an object as light as a butterfly. While this will allow a robot to hug you without crushing you they still lack the power to love (for now).